Napoli gets a day to regain focus at the plate

Napoli gets a day to regain focus at the plate

BOSTON -- Mike Napoli, who had emerged from an early-season slump to go on a monster tear in late May, is now back in a severe funk. The first baseman didn't start on Saturday against the Blue Jays, and manager John Farrell said he wasn't sure if Napoli would return to the lineup on Sunday.

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"I can't say that there's a change in the swing path. Certainly timing is not as consistent as it was in that late-May stretch," said Farrell. "Whether there's a little more thinking about some things in the box in the moment, could be there. But just trying to get him to free himself up mentally and trust in his abilities."

The first baseman is an 0-for-13 drought and is hitting .200 for the season. In his first 11 games in June, Napoli is hitting .171 with a homer and four RBIs.

"It's frustrating, but I'm going to keep working, keep grinding every day," Napoli said. "I'm out here early hitting, early BP and trying to keep going. Obviously, I don't look comfortable up there. I don't feel too comfortable. Just working in my at-bats until I can find it and be in that position to where I can do something."

Napoli has already demonstrated how swiftly he can turn things around, when he won Player of the Week honors on May 26.

"I want to do my part, contribute to this offense. So yeah, I come here every day thinking, 'This is the day I'm going to come through. Tomorrow is a new day,'" said Napoli. "I'm going to wake up, come here and work, get out there, try to stick to a plan and do something."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.